Sports Commission most transparent public body

The Sports and Recreation Commission is the most transparent public body in Zimbabwe while the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company ZUPCO for the second year running remains the most closed and secretive.

MISA-Zimbabwe National Director Nhlanhla Ngwenya announced the winner and loser at a breakfast meeting in Harare on 29 April 2014 based on the findings of the organisation’s 2013-2014 report on the accessibility of information from public bodies.

Ngwenya noted that the research survey conducted in 2013, is an annual project undertaken by MISA at a regional level to ascertain the levels of access to information in the Southern African Development Community.

For Zimbabwe, the survey consisted of 12 randomly sampled institutions which comprised the following:

Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council ( ZIMSEC), Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Ministry of Tourism, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, the then Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

According to the survey findings, the majority of institutions remain closed when it comes to placing information in the public domain.

Ngwenya said 67% of the public institutions under review, can easily be qualified as secretive especially in light of their failure to respond to requests for information.

For the second year running, ZUPCO remained the most secretive of the surveyed institutions and was still to have a functional website in addition to its failure to respond to written requests during the period under review.

The SRC, on the other hand, was the most open and transparent as it diligently addressed the questions raised by MISA-Zimbabwe while Zimsec was the runner- up and most improved public institution.

Ngwenya, however, noted that the inaccessibility of information from public institutions was not limited to Zimbabwe alone given that the accessibility of information levels in Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia and Zimbabwe ranged between 33 and 37 percent.

Zambia and Swaziland were pegged at 50 percent while Botswana performed dismally with only one institution out of the eight surveyed responding to the questions, pegging the country’s accessibility rate at 12.5 percent.

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